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'You Don’t Know Their Story.' Urban League Of Palm Beach County Says Food Insecurity Sees No Class

Urban League food drive_10042020.png
Urban League
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Urban League food distribution in West Palm Beach

Every seven weeks, people line up in their cars to receive a box of food, hand sanitizer and face masks. It’s a way to get some needs met underneath a tent on 1700 North Australian Avenue in West Palm Beach.

The Urban League of Palm Beach County has hosted a series of food drives for families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Patrick Franklin is the CEO of the Urban League of Palm Beach County. He said they put enough food in each box to sustain a family for about three to five days. Franklin says he's concerned about the food insecurity rate in the county.

"You really can’t tell how much someone needs just by looking at the car that they're driving. I’ve had people that — their car has stopped [running] in the line," Franklin said.

"I’ve had people that will drive up in their Escalade or in their Mercedes or BMW. It doesn’t make a difference. You don’t know their story because they may have that car but they may not have a job."

Franklin says from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the League partnered with Feeding South Florida, a hunger-relief organization.

Just under 200 volunteers have given away eggs, milk, butter, pasta, chicken, fruits and vegetables, bags of oatmeal and rice — basic staples for more than 1,000 families in need.

"A lot of families — they say 'Can, I have one more please? I have four kids, I have five children, I have six people in my home,'" Franklin said. "And we’re glad to put a second box in their vehicle because the need is great."

The next food drive is Nov. 21, just a few days before Thanksgiving.

As part of their effort to sustain community engagement, the League kicked off their new RIDE 2 VOTE initiative. The free bus service, traveling across Palm Beach County, gives immobile voters a ride to the polls.

Until Nov. 1, Franklyn said the service, which follows strict CDC guidelines, will pick up voters at set locations and bring them to polling sites from Delray Beach to Riviera Beach and the Glades area. They plan to restart the free bus service for Election Day.